All The Good Things: Barely Surviving Streaming Shows Need To Breathe

Is it really too much of a good thing when individual TV/streaming programming is too good?

HBO's critically acclaimed "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty" -- a TV series focused on the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers -- is ending after just two seasons.

The show has also been the most dominant viewing program on Warner Bros. Discovery's streaming platform, Max. But apparently it is not enough.

Gunnar Wiedenfels, chief financial officer of Warner Bros. Discovery, said during a recent industry event that streaming has “an enormously valuable amount of quality content that has been given away well below fair market value.” 

So what does that mean for consumers? A price hike? Well, we have seen many of those recently, and no doubt more is coming.

But does that also mean higher prices for streaming advertising brands?



Still, others say that for the truly must-have streaming platforms like Netflix it can be more than just a one-show thing -- that consumers sense they cannot cancel a Netflix subscription because they will miss something great soon afterwards or the next month.

Netflix, as a recognized industry leader, sits in a different consumer proposition position.

From all this we return to that more than decade-long warning by FX Networks Chairman and CEO John Landgraf -- too much "peak TV" isn't a good thing, because TV producers can't grab enough share of consumer voice and attention to survive.

If  Peak TV was truly about each of those 500 shows that were of top quality and that your friends say you needed to see, what exactly might you do?

Well, time constraints are one thing. But perhaps many would look to confirm this in observing actual industry viewership numbers. Looking at any recent streaming viewing list would reveal a lot of Netflix association.

This is not all that foreign. Consumers do this, to an extent, when considering their next must-see programming or movie.

“Is everyone really seeing ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’? Well, then those Monday morning box office numbers don’t lie.”

At the same time, there is probably another missing wrinkle for the programs themselves: Hype, on-air promotion, marketing, and some needed social-media spin.

"Content needs to get oxygen to stay alive and vibrant," Wiedenfels adds.

So whose fault is that? TV producers, streamers, or their fellow linear TV networks?

Ask yourself how many of those individual TV shows -- on streaming -- get all the advertising attention they need to survive.

Ask those hard-pressed streaming services -- which are still losing money -- how many promotion and advertising dollars they put into each wannabe hit TV show.

It's a good thing... sometimes.

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